Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 12, 2010

WHEN GINGRICH LOSES HIS MIND.... Obama Derangement Syndrome can take some strange people to some strange places. Disgraced former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), in all his pseudo-intellectual glory, has become so enveloped in his own garbage, he appears to have suffered some kind of severe head trauma.

Gingrich's trip to Crazy Town began quite a while ago, but in recent months, his unbridled hatred of the president has pushed him to the point of sputtering, incoherent rage. Earlier in the summer, Gingrich insisted that Obama and his allies represent "as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did."

Ol' Newt seems to be getting more worked up as time goes on.

Citing a recent Forbes article by Dinesh D'Souza, former House speaker Newt Gingrich tells National Review Online that President Obama may follow a "Kenyan, anti-colonial" worldview.

Gingrich says that D'Souza has made a "stunning insight" into Obama's behavior -- the "most profound insight I have read in the last six years about Barack Obama."

"What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?" Gingrich asks. "That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."

"This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president," Gingrich tells us.

"I think he worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating -- none of which was true," Gingrich continues. "In the Alinksy tradition, he was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve . . . He was authentically dishonest."

Gingrich appears to have been inspired by D'Souza, perhaps best known for writing an entire book arguing that terrorists are right about the problems with American culture. Osama bin Laden and other dangerous Islamic radicals believe the U.S. is too secular, too permissive, too diverse, too free, and too tolerant -- and D'Souza concluded that they're absolutely correct. Indeed, D'Souza went so far as to argue that liberal Americans are at least partially to blame for 9/11 -- the left invited the attacks by reinforcing the beliefs al Qaeda had about the United States.

In one particularly memorable episode of "The Colbert Report," D'Souza conceded that he finds some of the critiques from radical, anti-American extremists persuasive.

And now that D'Souza has crafted some new twisted theory -- the president, the argument goes, is executing an anti-colonial agenda pushed by his father -- Gingrich's twisted little mind has concluded that the "Kenyan, anti-colonial" worldview makes perfect sense.

I care about this, not because Gingrich is a lunatic, but because Republicans and the media establishment continue to treat Gingrich as a sane, credible visionary. I think it's fair to say most reasonable people would charitably describe his attacks on America's leaders as idiocy, but the problem is, it won't make any difference.

Given the way the political establishment is "wired" for Republicans, there simply aren't any consequences for this kind of abject stupidity. In the first year of the Obama administration, the most frequent guest on "Meet the Press" was Newt Gingrich. Despite having left office more than a decade ago in disgrace, he remains a leading figure welcome in polite society.

There's literally nothing the man can say to lose his platform to spew nonsense.

Update: I didn't realize this when writing the post, but Gingrich is on "Fox News Sunday" right now, which only helps prove the point.

Steve Benen 9:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (68)

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I've not read the D'Souza piece and I'm not bloody likely to - but I suspect that they are trying to dog whistle the Mau Mau threat back to life so as to scare even more poor white folks who are already convinced that they're being pushed to the back of the line or bus or whatever. It's really getting to be time to give up the hope for normal political discourse and attack newts and becks and faux grizzlies with their own tactics.

Posted by: Stephen1947 on September 12, 2010 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, for pity's sake - what kind of history professor doesn't know what anti-colonial means?

The original anti-colonialists are the Founders.

America is a colony that defeated its colonial masters.

To be American is to be anti-colonial.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on September 12, 2010 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Gingrich loves saying, "Fundamentally..."

It's his verbal crutch to dismiss any possibility of debate on a topic. Obama is "fundamentally" out of touch.

Whatever. Please find me a politician with a higher national approval rating than Obama. You can't.

Posted by: glutz78 on September 12, 2010 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

"This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con,"

How can a person who does not know how the world works play a "wonderful" con? Blithering nonsense.

Of course the dog whistle message is a black man is not smart enough. He only became president though some kind of trick. And is naturally plotting against his white colonial masters.

Posted by: reduced on September 12, 2010 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently, what ever Glen Beck has, it is highly contagious. . .

-and, good one, Yellow Dog! Perhaps Steveshould stop calling Newt the 'disgraced former speaker,' and substitute the "last surviving Tory".

Posted by: DAY on September 12, 2010 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

"Anticolonial" might have been an effective charge in 1890, but haven´t we gone beyond that?

Posted by: bob h on September 12, 2010 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

What countries does Newt want to colonize? Sign up now to be part of the Republican Raj. (I better trademark that. I can see it getting a lot of use in the future....but I better Google it to make sure no one used it during the early days of the Iraq occupation. I'm looking at you Rick Sanchez.

Posted by: art hackett on September 12, 2010 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

I know I am not so smart in these matters, but they all seem to know what Obama's father thought, for heavens sake he died when Obama was a child, Obama hardly knew him. I think Obama's father left the Islam religion, I also heard that he was in fact a citizen of Britain, since Kenya was a commonwealth country, he was entitled - and carried a British passport. I am sure I will be corrected if I am wrong.

Posted by: joan on September 12, 2010 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

If anyone can speak with authority on a political con, it's Newt Gingrich -- a twice-divorced serial adulterer who dares to moralize about the meaning of Christianity and family values.

Posted by: TR on September 12, 2010 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

He's not crazy or unhinged. Don't let him off the hook that easily. He's playing a well thought out, deliberate racial game about as ugly as you can imagine.

Posted by: SaintZak on September 12, 2010 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe he can partner with that Jeb Clampett wannabe in Florida he seems to getting a lot of free press and is at least as stupid , manipulative and hate filled as old Newty. Just about as relevant too.

Posted by: johnr on September 12, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

The irony is that Dinesh D'Souza himself is not a "real american". The dude was born and raised in India and moved to the US later on. If anyone has colonial hangover, it is this dude. Like many immigrants, he is too keen to be accepted as an american. This is the same guy who was engaged to Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. He may kiss as many conservative asses as he wants,he will never be a "real american" for the palin crowd.

Posted by: TT on September 12, 2010 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Gingrich continues. "In the Alinksy tradition, he was being the person he needed to be in order to achieve the position he needed to achieve . . . He was authentically dishonest."************

Hey Newterd, Project much? YOU are 'fundamentally' dishonest. Ask any of your previous wives for starters.

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on September 12, 2010 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

It may have something to do with the recent report that Obama removed a bust of Churchill from the Oval Office, and the insight that Churchill had been responsible for the suppression of the anti colonial revolt, misnamed by the British as Mau Mau, in which Obama's father was arrested.

This is a twofer. Churchill is admired in spite of, not for, his 19th century attitudes on race and empire--except by the American right wing. Roosevelt is admired because of, not in spite of, his contempt for British Imperial colonialism--except by the American right wing. So Obama is unlike Churchill and like Roosevelt--anathema to the American right wing.

It also lets Gingrich, and doubtless subsequent others, say Mau Mau a lot.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on September 12, 2010 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

You lost me at Dinesh.

Seriously, any one who quotes Dinesh D'Souza seriously is not a serious person.

Try reading one of his books without laughing out loud at how badly they are written and "reasoned." You can't do it. He's Ann Coulter without the balls.

What happened at Dartmouth to have produced such bad thinking, bad writing, best sellers?

Posted by: martin on September 12, 2010 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

You give Newt too much credit to call him "insane." That would excuse him from responsibility for his venomous lies and cynical slanders. Newt is more like "Pastor" Terry Jones -- a shameless publicity whore who will say or do anything for attention, and who knows the kind of red meat that his base of fans like to devour. So he'll talk like a Jew-baiting Nazi, substituting the terms "Muslim" and "Kenyan" for "Jew" and "Gypsy" if that's what it takes to fire up the crowd.

Posted by: T-Rex on September 12, 2010 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

"This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president,"

Newtie hasn't made it to the last part, but everything else is certainly accurate in its description of this piece of dreck. You can take the boy out of the trailer park (which is where he was raised), but you can't take the trailer park out of the boy.

Posted by: TCinLA on September 12, 2010 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Fox "News" and its allies represent as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.

Posted by: qwerty on September 12, 2010 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

I knew for sure that Newt had lost it when I saw him in that "America at Risk" video with that alien snake-woman from Visitors. (No way that hair is human.)

"This is a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con,

Normally I'd call that projection, but in Newt's case I think he's just using the Rove tactic of attacking your enemy for your own weakness.

It is remarkable that he still gets airtime, since he is basically a discredited former politico who's resigned in disgrace over a decade ago.

Posted by: biggerbox on September 12, 2010 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

When Newt goes on a toot it has more to do with his bank account than any credible commentary or insight about politics. He is, first and foremost, about himself. What he seems to do best is keep alive his phony presidential aspirations, like Rudee Guiliani, so he will be taken more seriously by the serious pundits of the corporate media.

Like McCain, whose ubiquitous presence on Sunday TV is inexplicable, Newtie caters to the right wing without drooling (too much) and hides the hair on his knuckles as he spouts his pseudo intellectual nonsense. In any case, the brain dead media are predisposed to a right-wing viewpoint as they buy into the notion that the only legitimate government is run by the Rethugs.

It's a clown show, and the best response is to shut off the TV.

Posted by: rrk1 on September 12, 2010 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Who knew that we were supposed to be supporting the British Empire? Somebody better tell our founding fathers.

Posted by: Speed on September 12, 2010 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

First off, any "analysis" that starts with "what if" and then proceeds to present a bunch of speculations as established facts is only going to impress stupid people, which is exactly Newt's game. Like the pre-Christianist Anne Rice, whose work was laced with homoerotica, Newt knows his audience - they are people who can't think.

Secondly, Newt isn't insane or stupid; on the other hand, he's also not some super genius. What he is is amoral. Not immoral - if he was immoral he'd be breaking moral codes he embraces in principle. He doesn't have any of those, so "amoral" is the proper word choice.

I have to say I'm fed up with hearing people who have no moral compass described as geniuses. They aren't smarter than everyone else; they're just completely unprincipled.

Posted by: Jennifer on September 12, 2010 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK


Is Steven Benen EVER going to hold Democrats responsible for policing our political and cultural discourse?

Everything is always the fault of "Republicans and the media establishment," as if Democrats in the WH and Congress have been shouting from the tree tops about Republican insanity and cannot possibly break through.

The reality is that prominent Democrats seldom even respond to attacks such as Gingrich's, much less treat the attackers as political pariahs.

Over and over again we see the WH policing "the left" by firing Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod and calling out the "professional left". The left comparing Obama to Republicans? Beyond the pale. Gingrich or Beck comparing Obama to Nazis? Crickets.

What little sorry-ass push back against Fox that the WH made came to an ignoble end when Anita Dunn left and the WH announced an interview would be granted to Fox.

If the WH has issued more than a token response to either Fox's elevation of prominance within the press room or the News Corp's $1M donation to the GOP governors, I have missed it. Not that they ever would, but if a major news organization ever openly donated $1M to Democrats, the GOP would not shut up about it for the next 30 years and most likely the executive making the decision would be forced out Dan Rather-style. But in this case, Democrats are in a coma.

There is a reason that the GOP communications machine is so effective. They work at it. They put in the time. They craft simple messages. And they repeat them.

If Democrats think that they can sit on their asses and the press is going to simply drive Newt Gingrich from the public eye, they are seriously deluded.

Is Gingrich a dangerous, lying, demogogue? Yes. Will elected Democrats tell you that? No.

Posted by: square1 on September 12, 2010 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

"last surviving Tory".
Posted by: DAY on September 12, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Reminds me of what Molly Ivins wrote back in the '80s when the Federalist Society starting bleating about "original construction."

She wrote that their logic would lead to eliminating voting rights for women and popular election of Senators.

Then: "You just know that if they had been around during the Revolution, they would have been Tories."

Yes, "Tories" they absolutely are.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on September 12, 2010 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

People like Newt, who are unable to deal with reality, often project onto others qualities they themselves have. That being the case, this is is how I interpret what Newt said: “I am a person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happens to have played a wonderful con . . . I have worked very hard at being a person who is normal, reasonable, moderate, bipartisan, transparent, accommodating -- none of which was true."

As written in the current issue of Equire magazine (a must read for everyone) even his staffers knew what he was really like. They are quoted as saying "He's a sociopath, but he's our sociopath."

This man is not mentally fit to hold any office whatsoever, let alone the highest office in the land.

Posted by: Sheridan on September 12, 2010 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

How conservatives get away with saying what they say never ceases to amaze me. On the one hand, they have this grab-bag of pejoratives--socialist, nazi, communist, anti-colonialist, illegal immigrant, etc--that they hurl at their enemies without having a clue what they are talking about.

And, on the other, they manage to spin the worst excesses of capitalism as things that are good for all Americans (for example, tax cuts for the "job creators"; corporate welfare; the notion that the US can't afford universal health care; or claiming that invasions of oil-rich countries is about democracy.)

Of course, conservative thinking is characterized by confusion, but the charge that "Obama is carrying out a Kenyan, anti-colonial agenda" is a new low.

Kenyan, of course, is code for "black person." But decoding "anti-colonial" requires reflection. Of course, "anti-" anything is a problem for pro-thinking Americans, and Colonial Americans were the founding fathers, and they are the good guys, so anti-colonial MUST mean anti-founding fathers, right? So, it all works out. Anti-colonial means anti-American.

Thus, instead of aligning American interests with the perspective of capitalists who want to exploit the resources of the world to enrich their class, Gingrich manages to make it sound anti-American while using it as a code word for "taking from the white rich and giving to the black poor."

Posted by: PTate in MN on September 12, 2010 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Is Newt starting to resemble his predecessor Tom Foley? http://tiny.cc/Newtie

Posted by: navamske on September 12, 2010 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

wait, we're not all anti-colonial now? the right has walked us back all the way to the 19th century? how far back in history is OK with them?

Posted by: will on September 12, 2010 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

It's fitting that Gingrich would quote D'Souza because, except for Gingrich, there is not a bigger right wing hack than Dinesh D'Souza.

I've actually read D'Souza's book "Enemies at Home: How Liberals are Responsible for 9/11" several times (with underlined passages) because I take a perverse pleasure in savoring intellectual corruption.

D'Souza literally contradicts himself on practically every other page -- sometimes every other paragraph.

Did you know that it's a sign of the strength of the Religious Right that church-going is way up in America -- but we should all be concerned at the growing depravity of American culture because piety is down? You would if you read D'Souza.

Did you know that D'Souza is not a McCarthyite but he has a list in his hand and intends to "name names" of those "leftists" like the late Ted Kennedy he considers to be traitors to the country?

Gingrich can change his position on a dime because the only principle he adhere's to is self-interest. Likewise, D'Souza knows where his bread is buttered. He is a right wing hatchet man glossed in pseudo-intellectual finery whose gift with words is put into the service of making his audience dumber than it was before.

In Enemies at Home D'Souza's only aim is to craft an "argument" that is able to unite the neo-conservative and Religious Right wings of the GOP against a common "leftist" target. And so he argues in all seriousness that the Muslim Middle East does not hate America because we invaded their countries without cause and obliterated their villages but because we beamed the sexual perversions of "Will and Grace" into their huts which our bombs had turned to rubble -- and then tried to ram down a "degenerate far left culture" down their traditionalist "patriarchial" throats.

The stink of D'Souza's argument was so offensive that even far right bloggers tried to distance themselves from the smell - although it was mostly because D'Souza let the cat out of the bag by saying that the "war on terror" had nothing to do with actual terrorism at all but was instead a perfect pretext for empire-building abroad and culture war at home.

So is it any wonder that the far right today is so obsessed about semantics and the fact that Obama is not keen about the phrse "war on terror."

Posted by: Ted Frier on September 12, 2010 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't say that the American revolution was "anti-colonial" in the sense that we mean the word today, because it was the colonists who revolted. They were still colonists (and continued west to colonize the rest of the continent.)

That said, Newt is still a douche.

Posted by: Misplaced Patriot on September 12, 2010 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

I always liked my "Shorter D'Souza" when his book came about:

"The terrorists hate America for the same reasons that I hate America."

Posted by: Misplaced Patriot on September 12, 2010 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

He has a mind to lose?

One of the dumbest supposed 'intellectuals' ever.

Posted by: jjm on September 12, 2010 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

What amazes me about the Obama derangement syndrome is how it compares the the "Bush Derangement Syndrome" coined by the right during those years.

They fear what Obama WILL DO
they ignore what Bush HAS DONE

it's that simple, and the masses fall for it.

It's an important distinction that, were Democrats able to articulate it (say at the volume of Jackhammers, and with the same frequency) could wake up ambivalent undecided voters.

With little exception, what Democrats accused Bush/Cheney et al of during their administration was already history; warrantless wiretaps, madness at the DOJ, the whole foreign policy, the lack of a sensible energy policy, GITMO - those were all matters of fact and something one could look to and say "Bush HAS done..."

With little exception, pay careful attention to all of the bleating of the Ginriches and the Palins and the Bachmans and the Angles - almost two years into his presidency, they are still talking about what Obama is GOING to do; how his policies WILL make things worse...

ignoring that the reason things are as bad as they are is a result of the policiies that they will still support and defend - because what Obama will do surely must be worse...

Bush's madness is in the past and how we got here

Fear of Obama is always of what is yet to come - and it is stoked to prevent any significant change from the policies and goals that brought us to where we are.

If Democrats - or the rest of America who is somehow not ferociously partisan but decides these elections - do not figure this out, we are doomed.

It's like the populism is from the 16th century - fear the witch because they will turn your children into mincemeat; ignore the leaders who let them starve in the first place.

I fear this country is too easily swayed by fear and demogoguery to get this right.

Posted by: Holden Caulfield on September 12, 2010 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the United States suffering under the colonial yoke of the right? When was the last time the right did anything for the financial health of the majority of Americans?

Posted by: Michael7843853 on September 12, 2010 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

The sight of Newt and his blonde, really blonde wife (no. three) promoting their Islamophobic movie is chilling, could they look anymore Ayran, really spooky. It seriously looks like a poster for a race purity campaign. I think it's supposed to!

Posted by: Kathryn on September 12, 2010 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Can't we just call Gingrich what he is? He's a 9/11 entrepreneur.

Posted by: JohnC on September 12, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Ass of Newt thought that, by now, his obviousness as a leader of all things Right and beautiful leading into 2012 would be clear to everyone, and that he would be able to jump off the stage and be held aloft in reverence, (with the assistance of a crane), as he was crowd surfed to the front steps of the W.H. to be installed, serve, and be given additional terms of office until he died, and rose again, whereupon he would be given more terms.

So far, it hasn't happened, and he believes that his people just aren't hearing him clearly enough, so he's working hard to let them know that he is at one with their hate, stupidity and bottomless craving for power, as well as completely aware of their hate, stupidity and bottomless craving for power, along with their penchant for hate, stupidity and bottomless craving for power.

Which is all good as Linda McMahon will be able to set up the smack down between Johnny "Atom Smasher" Bolton and Ass of Newt in the primary. What a thing of beauty that would be. Which leads to a moments consideration of the republiConvention '12 and what an insane asylum that is going to be. Oh boy.

Posted by: burro on September 12, 2010 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

In regards to the relative truthfulness of President Obama and Newt Gingrich, I think there are four people who would be uniquely qualified to make a judgement: the four people they have been married to them.

Posted by: JD on September 12, 2010 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Jennifer wrote:"...Newt knows his audience - they are people who can't think."

Some of them can't think but it is probably better to look at is as Newt believing that he can give people something easy to say. One of the oddest things in the world is those politicians who've mastered the soundbite and who disseminate talking points. At some point, I thought the good politicians not only stayed on message but somehow accomplished something more.

Politicians and ex-politicians, like McCain and Gingrich, respectively, say simple things which explain slightly more complex things to journalists. And, in turn, they can get away with saying crazy things which also are based on lies or which have little relation to previous statements the politicians made. The journalists/interviewers let them get away with it. And, by even using them as a source for analysis, spread the crazy thoughts and the extravagant or subtle lies they spread.

Of course, by the end of the day, someone like this 21st Century version of Newt Gingrich is trying to be Limbaugh, Palin and Beck in stating the outrageous to garner support as a credible messenger (or, more accurately, as a credible MESSAGE MAKER).

It is self-serving. All of these crazy notions and lies are self-serving for those who say them. And, the bonus for those who utter them is that they are simple enough and straight forward enough that others might utter them, too. Like I said, it isn't that they can't think, it is they want something easy to say.

I don't think that the GOP/conservatives/pol/operatives/electorate is alone in this predicament. I think everyone wants easy answers in politics because the world is pretty complicated and complex. And, for the most part, when we discuss Politics, we are likely only discussing a small percentage of the Big Picture, anyway. And, I guess the parts we discuss are the parts which make us most comfortable with what we know. So, for those who hate Obama, every politician and talking head can give them reasons to hate and mistrust Obama. That's what Newt is doing.

Personally, I don't think he is running for Prez in '12--too much baggage and dirty laundry. He'd want a seat at the table though. So a cabinet position or something to get his sticky mitts on.

Posted by: gus on September 12, 2010 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

These people are plainly nuts. Why are they getting exposure in the news?

Posted by: getaclue on September 12, 2010 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

There's literally nothing the man can say to lose his platform to spew nonsense.

Don't tell Joke Line! He'll be so sad...


Posted by: ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© on September 12, 2010 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Newt is mentally abnormal, all right, but it's more like malignant bipolar disorder than schizophrenia. He rides at top speed over every bump of illogic while expounding his bizarre contrarian theories -- which change, of course, to suit each political season. Everything that issues from his mouth is an attempt at deception, as far as I can tell. I don't know why anyone bothers with him now.

Posted by: Ralph on September 12, 2010 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Gingrich is a piker where political depravity is concerned. He's just a twisted carny with a big mouth.

On the other hand, GW Bush and Dick Cheney Big Lied the country into unleashing war.

And not only are most democrats still "embarrassed" to acknowledge that rude truth, the party line now extends to the Kenyan interloper and Joe Biden publicly extolling the patriotism of the Teflon Traitor(s).

People who ride a high horse when damning republican perfidy would be well advised to keep that in uppermost mind while running their mouths.

Posted by: JW on September 12, 2010 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Gingrich has lost nothing. He is the same morally depraved, opportunistic bigot he always was. And it works for him, so why should he stop?

Posted by: dSquib on September 12, 2010 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

My favorite Pig Newton line was when he said "we'll have Soviet labor camps and Soviet torture chambers in our great-grandchildrens' time."
The year: 1983.

Posted by: Sufferin'Succotash on September 12, 2010 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

newt's not being crazy....he has thought this out...the surprise is how he has moved past the dog-whistle and is just shoveling the straight racism the base wants to hear...

Posted by: dj spellchecka on September 12, 2010 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

All you folks looking to decipher Gingrich's "anti-colonial" remark are ignoring the obvious. Kenyan anti-colonialists were fighting against white, European colonizers. "Anti-colonial" is Gingrich's not-so-sly way of calling Obama anti-white.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on September 12, 2010 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't Dinesh D'souza the same guy who during the 1990's was publicly advocating the overturning of the Civil Rights Act of 1964? And this is the guy with the brilliant insight on race and colonialism that Newt Gingrich listen's too. Gingrich is playing race games and knows exactlly what he is doing and to whom he is appealing.

Posted by: aline on September 12, 2010 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, wait. Did he say "Kenyan, anti-colonial"?

I could have sworn I heard him say "uppity black man taking power from rich white men."

You know, if I were Newt, I'd be careful about accusing others of merely being the embodiment of their late fathers. It might get people wondering if the real man with Daddy issues was the one born to a 19-year-old in Pennsylvania who gave away his parental rights in exchange for getting out of child support payments.

Newt's life was apparently pretty tawdry even before he started ditching sick wives.

Posted by: biggerbox on September 12, 2010 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

I think we're missing the point by getting caught up on "anti-colonial"--the key word here is "Kenyan." The anti-colonial tag is meant to make you picture him carrying a gun.

BTW, I would not say that this nation is "fundamentally" anti-colonial. The Revolution was a republican, anti-monarchical movement waged by people who believed they were British citizens who had been unfairly demoted to colonial status. The United States was explicitly formed as a settler-colonial nation, where the language of republicanism was deployed to justify removing American Indians to make way for white settlers. (Many American Indians and their allies in turn used republican principles to argue against this expansion, but ask Justice Marshall and the plaintiffs in Worcester v. Georgia how that turned out. ) Though American republican colonialism was distinct from British imperial colonialism in both rhetoric and practice, the two did not look that different from the Indian perspective.

Posted by: Charles on September 12, 2010 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

'Anti-colonial' DOES sum up a great deal of the Founding Fathers' beef with England. The colonies were viewed as value-extracting machines for the Crown: Colonists were forbidden to buy from anybody or sell to anybody but approved British merchants, and had no choice at all over prices.
Subsistence farming was OK, but any and all trade was strictly for the benefit of ol' Hanoverian King George.

Posted by: pbg on September 12, 2010 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, pbg, I'm not sure you're appreciating the many dimensions of the word "colonial." You don't seem to understand that the Navigation Acts (what you're describing in a bullshitty undergrad way) long predate both the Revolution, and, indeed, the house of Hanover. Nor did they benefit the Crown directly as you so glibly allege--they largely protected British merchant interests and padded the coffers of Parliament, not the Crown. The Navigation Acts aren't examples of "colonial" rule, they're examples of imperial mercantilism. The later "Intolerable Acts" are closer to a true imposition of "colonial" rule over British North America. But this is all way more complicated than you seem to think.

The fact is, a detailed understanding of historical events takes years of study. So before you mouth off with all the bullshit you think you know about the "Founding Fathers," go read a couple books, real books by historians, not Founding Father hagiography. Gordon Wood's recent survey of the Revolution is a good start, along with Fred Anderson's abridged history of the "French and Indian War" ("The War That Made America"). Then maybe you'll have a opinion remotely based in fact.

Posted by: Charles on September 12, 2010 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Breaking news: Giuliani and Gingrich are engaged to be married.

Posted by: Leibniz on September 12, 2010 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Dinesh D'Souza . . . is the same guy who was engaged to Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham."

At the same time?
It's like "Design for Living" as staged in the Ninth Circle of Hell.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on September 12, 2010 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Dinesh D'Souza--what right wing position paper mill is supporting him these days? The one pleasure in hearing an idiot like Gingrich quote him is that you realize how much he's otherwise, disappeared.

Posted by: Rich on September 12, 2010 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

Here is a wonderful takedown of D'Souza by Larison . . . http://www.amconmag.com/larison/2010/09/09/obama-anticolonial-hegemonist/

Posted by: Daniel on September 12, 2010 at 10:01 PM | PERMALINK

Alinsky was Kenyan? Time to cheat on #3 Newtie

Posted by: cosmosis on September 13, 2010 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

So Obama's an Alinskyite? It must be true, they keep saying it. So let's follow the logic.

First, the purpose of the Alinskyite is to rub raw, not mitigate, the resentments of the people, to oblige them to self-organize and rise up to solve their own problems; second, the Alinskyite infiltrates the organization he wishes to destroy.

From this it would follow that Obama wishes to destroy the Democrats in order to visit America with an unmitigated, unrestrained Republican Party, in order to agonize the public into action...and the Tea Party is a leading indicator of his success. No wonder FreedomWorks is trying to co-opt it!

Posted by: Forrest on September 13, 2010 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe the headline should read, "When Did Gingrich Lose His Mind."

Posted by: Greyhawk on September 13, 2010 at 5:00 AM | PERMALINK

Isn't being anti-colonial is a good thing?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on September 13, 2010 at 5:17 AM | PERMALINK

"What if [Gingrich] is so outside our comprehension that only if you understand British imperial behavior can you begin to piece together [his actions]?" pj asks. "That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."

Posted by: pj in jesusland on September 13, 2010 at 5:27 AM | PERMALINK

The unvarnished truth is just this:both Gingrich and Obama are con men. They are like two mean dogs fighting over the same bone. Their masters are the same.

Posted by: Thingumbobesquire on September 13, 2010 at 6:36 AM | PERMALINK

You know, for a guy who would like to think he has some kind chance at being President and who's own father was born out of wedlock, married his mother exactly 9 months before he was born, divorced her 4 months after and had some controversial political believes of his own, you would think he would steer clear of associating people with the political believes of their absentee fathers.

Posted by: Alex on September 13, 2010 at 7:30 AM | PERMALINK

The scary part is he knows what he's doing.

Posted by: Moby on September 13, 2010 at 7:31 AM | PERMALINK

In my view, Newt Gingrich is perfectly aware of the full content of his words. He's not a lunatic or even somebody with genuine convictions. Instead, he is a well-paid public relations celebrity whose primary task is to deposit extreme statements into the general pool of public rhetoric. The logic of contemporary media creates a finite space and time for viable statements, and media corporations require increasing degrees of scandal and conflict to drive the hypnotic need for screen narratives and consumption that pay the extraordinary salaries and dividends the industry has come to expect. Under circumstances like these, filling the pool of viable statements with extreme statements from a variety of repetitive celebrities systematically narrows observation and eliminates or debases empirical evidence. Gingrich is part of a small but visible branch of the management class that seeks to deform the public discourse in order to render intolerable concepts tolerable and in many unfortunate cases preferable. This is not really a political discourse. It's a social psychology discourse that seeks to maintain the internal economy of the military, pharmaceutical, financial and media sectors, by offering people a fraudulent choice between unreasonable alternatives, to the point where these entitites become indistinguishable and preside over the function of laws and government. The configuration where Gingrich situates the phrase "Kenyan anti-colonial" as a pejorative criticism is actually quite clever, and I don't really believe Gingrich himself paraphrased D'Souza or that D'Souza himself generated the concept. This expression is loaded with intertextual meanings to the management class it was meant to appease, while at the same time establishing a new perimeter of engagement. It would be easy to identify Mr. Ginrich and his peers as expensive prostitutes, since they use their bodies to satisfy the desires of those who pay them, but that would be misleading, in my view, and it would probably augment efforts to deform the public discourse further. As instructive and necessary as a historical perspective may be, contemporary life calls for a much more open system of evaluation for the citizenry.

Posted by: moncalendargirl on September 13, 2010 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Dinesh D'Souza and other high-profile conservative Indian-Americans are the new "House Negroes" of American Society. They come here and take advantage of all the heavy lifting done by others and turn around and do the intellectual dirty work of the wing-nut reactionaries.

Posted by: Nick on September 16, 2010 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

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